2023 May 23 Be the confident Best You possible!

May 23, 2023

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about re-imagining your life. Thanks for joining me tonight to talk about facing life with confidence. If you'd like what you hear tonight, please leave a like and tell your friends and send me a message.


Tonight will be another short one. It's about attitude adjustment and gratitude. These two things will lead you into living a life full of confidence. I was helping a friend recently, and when I realized how much they had to live on, which was not very much at all, I thought about how I really have no basis to complain about anything. Yet, most of the time, they're in pretty good spirits. They're actually in a really good mood.


They live a simple life, but not a plain life at all. I remember my own advice, both to you, my followers, and to myself, to be mindful of all that you have. They were very mindful of their blessings. They had a lot of them in little ways. This isn't to say, Don't try to be your best self, but remember to judge against what you could be, rather than what you think other people are being.


I think Bill Gates is around two years younger than me, and Father Greg Boyle, who does the Los Angeles Gang Intervention Mission, is almost exactly my age. I could interpret those facts in different ways. I could focus on the material aspects of Bill Gates, or the sharing of good faith and to turn people's attitudes around like Father Greg, and get myself really depressed. Oh look at all they've done. Look how relatively little I've done. However, if I instead focus on learning from them and trying to make me the best me possible, I'll not only improve myself, but I'll be working from an attitude of growth instead of an attitude of dissatisfaction.


Remember the importance of self-talk. If you talk down to yourself all the time, you will bring yourself down, even if you're talented. Somebody was just telling me today their granddaughter, who I have met, a perfectly normal looking early teenager, and for some reason somebody must have started the rumor that she was unattractive. She was telling her grandmother how poor she looked. Now just imagine if somebody said, Wow, you look really pretty. Then you’d be saying to yourself all the time, Wow, somebody said I looked really pretty.


Your self-talk really controls how you live your life. You want to be very careful about that. Always make sure that when you catch yourself doing negative self-talk, that you back up, turn it around, and recast it into a positive light. 


That brings us to our second point. Even if we feel we're unattractive being our best selves, then what about the realities of all that's wrong in the world? Especially today, if you look at the news, everything is just horrible. In Saturday's Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal editorial is “The Reagan Lessons for the Trumpian Right.” It's pretty enlightening, and a good reminder of what was going on, not just now, but then. 


If you weren't there, back in Reagan's time, there was a lot of talk about everything in the US based upon a horrible foundation. How bad we were, how bad we were in the past. So we obviously are in a rotten place. We're a nation in decline. How we shouldn't even try to say we're a world leader anymore, how Russia had a far superior military, and we were so far behind we could never catch up. How we'd lost our manufacturing base and couldn't recover. And on and on and on and on. Sound familiar? Sound like any headlines you've seen today? Of course, around that time it was global cooling instead of the start of global warming, and it was going to end the earth forthwith. It was imminent. 


But the difference is, in this case, Reagan spoke honestly to the nation about the situation, asked for people's support. He made some very risky moves and huge investments and ultimately ushered in an era of world peace, which is the only thing that a lot of you have ever known.


It was around that time, and certainly a little earlier in the Kennedy era, many called for the whole duck and cover exercises for the inevitable nuclear war that would just wipe out the world somehow. A lot of forward thinking people, and a lot of people who focused on making themselves better rather than being taught a life of victimhood, brought us  through some pretty dicey times and brought us to a much better future.


In Reagan's case, he focused on what could be right instead of what can be considered wrong. He admitted faults and worked to correct them. In many cases, he did. The whole nation pulled in unity, and that's a really important piece. 


You might be saying, Well, that's great on a national or international scale. What about the most difficult change of all, changing our own personal lives? Well, the exact same tricks work there too. We can be scared about all that we see in the news, or instead of feeling hopeless and doomed, we can see where there's good (actually good is pretty much everywhere), and we can work to grow that good and reduce the evil.


We can face the world with the self-confidence that comes from ourselves instead of loathing in fear. As we've talked about many times, the decision as to how we react to a situation is mostly under our own control. You don't have to wake up and look at the carefully tailored social media feeds and get taken down some horrible pathway where everything is miserable.


Instead, you can get up, do a morning priming routine, which we've talked about recently that primes you to be the best you possible for the day, one who's ready to face a challenge and work through it. You don't have to be annoyed that you don't have the best phone or the fastest computer. 


Instead, be thrilled that you're living better than much, maybe most, of the world will ever attain or even can imagine. You are in control of your attitude, and every decision you make affects that outcome. If you sit and watch TV or most movies, you'll be constantly bombarded with a stream of suggestions about how your life could be much more fun, interesting, better, satisfying, if you just spent more money on some particular thing.


Now think back to my friend. They live a pretty happy life. However, their big current joy is a small plastic aquarium with an LED light so they could get a pet fish for company. Okay, stop and think. What your reaction was to that. Was it pity that that's all their life was, or was it thoughtful, perhaps remembering hours watching a little goldfish of your own? Or was it remembering a simpler time in your life when any simple pleasure was special because you hadn't been conditioned to expect the world on a platter? It’s the same situation, and it's up to you how you react to it. You could be cynical and analytical, or you could use a defined peace. It's up to you. 


So with that, I wish you a good week and hope you can find the framework to rediscover the confidence that comes with satisfaction and mindfulness, and define the peace in your life. We've been trained to be very judgmental and somewhat cynical of life's simple pleasures by many vested interests.


Remember that for every stimulus that enters your awareness, you have a choice of how you react to it. You can follow the programming that's being pushed at you from all directions in our modern society and by people you may not even realize. Or you can follow your own conscious life and consciously decide to live your life in a way that brings out the best in you and allows you to face all of life's challenges with confidence. I think that you'll find the confident path is much more satisfying overall in every way, and I know that you can do it. 


So that's it for the evening. As always, UKR7.com is the website where we have links for supporting Ukraine. Please remember, the war in Ukraine is just dragging on, and if you can do anything to support them or any cause that you want


The World Central Kitchen is on that page, WCK.org. They work in many humanitarian areas. If you work in anything else, if you feel comfortable supporting other people, whether it's just being a friend, donating to something makes you feel the most involved in changing the world. I would encourage you, please do something to try and help somebody else. Remember, one of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. When you think outside yourself, it changes your whole perspective on the world. 


As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting and useful, please pass it along and please hit that like button. If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dream of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you.

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